Home Sport Banyana beat Botswana to secure passage to WAFCON quarter-finals

Banyana beat Botswana to secure passage to WAFCON quarter-finals

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The result maintained Banyana’s 100% win record in the competition as they were victorious in their two previous games against Burundi and Nigeria. They will now face off against Tunisia in Rabat on Thursday.

Nthabiseng Majiya of South Africa scores past Botswana goalkeeper Marylin John during the 2022 Womens Africa Cup of Nations match at Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium, Rabat, Morocco on 10 July 2022. Picture: Gavin Barkker, BackpagePix

Johannesburg – A lethargic but disciplined Banyana Banyana booked their place in the quarter-finals of Women’s AFCON following a 1-0 win over Southern African neighbours Botswana at the Prince Mulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat, Morocco on Sunday night.

The result maintained Banyana’s 100% win record in the competition as they were victorious in their two previous games against Burundi and Nigeria. They will now face off against Tunisia in Rabat on Thursday.

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The result also means that Banyana have taken a step closer to qualification to the 2023 Women’s World Cup. Should they defeat Tunisia in their next game, they will claim one of Africa’s four automatic berths for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next year.

Substitute Nthabiseng Majiya gave Banyana the lead in the 80th minute. The goal came after Nomvula Kgoale timed her run to perfection following a through goal. Kgoale forced a save from Botswana goalkeeper Sediame Boseja, but Majiya was present to tuck home the rebound.

Banyana, utilising a 4-4-2 formation dominated the first half as far as possession goes as they had 67%. As was expected, Banyana coach Desiree Ellis made some changes with defensive lynchpin Noko Matlou getting a rest and Bambanani Mbane starting while Janine Van Wyk captained the side.

Refilwe Tholakele was the only Botswana player who probed, but Mbane and Van Wyk comfortably dealt with her to prevent the opposition from getting into any good spaces to shoot.

Thembi Kgatlana had Banyana’s first real chance of the first half in the 16th minute, as she whipped in a left footed shot which had Botswana goalkeeper and captain Boseja beaten but was just wide. A minute later, Sibulele Holweni struck from range, but her effort was too weak to trouble Boseja.

Van Wyk saw a headed effort cleared off the line in the 20th minute. The first yellow card of the game was awarded to Botswana’s Keitumetse Dithebe following a hard challenge on Bongeka Gamede.

Banyana were dealt a blow in the 32nd minute as Jermaine Seoposenwe who appeared to be in pain throughout the first half, had to be withdrawn and replaced by Melinda Kgadiete.

In an attempt to add some spark to the side early in the second half, Ellis withdrew Karabo Dhlamini, bringing on Thalea Smidt.

After taking advantage of a howler by the Botswana defence, Kgadiete struck a powerful shot which forced a brilliant save from Mares goalkeeper Boseja.

There were many flaws in Banyana’s performance despite the win. They must be more clinical with shots in front of goal and set-pieces going forward if they want to dethrone defending Champions Nigeria and secure a first-ever continental title.

@eshlinv

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